This past weekend, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation launched the Open Streets and Public Space Program, a new project aimed at creating more opportunities for outdoor commerce on Staten Island. The pilot program closed down a portion of a busy street in the New Dorp Lane District to allow for expanded outside dining and shopping.
On May 28th, CUF held a virtual forum, "Bolstering Immigrant and Minority-Owned Small Businesses Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic," focused on identifying what should be done to support the city’s minority- and immigrant-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. One of the key policy recommendations put forward during the discussion was the need for the city to think bigger about opening streets and public spaces to neighborhood restaurants, retailers, and street vendors. Three weeks later, CUF executive director Jonathan Bowles and Winston Fisher published an op-ed in Crain's New York that urged the city to consider bold new ways to open up commerce on city streets and public spaces in order to increase opportunties for local businesses to safely reconnect with customers after months of business closures.
This is part of Center for an Urban Future's extensive research on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York City's small businesses, including Supporting Small Businesses Through Coronavirus, 6 Ideas to Boost Minority & Immigrant-Owned Buseinesses in Crisis, and 7 Ideas to Help Brooklyn's Diverse Businesses Rebound.